Though now living in Maryland, I was a longtime resident of Maine and am a “cradle Republican.”

I have now lost all confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to govern. It had been waning almost since he took office. This latest racist diatribe pushed me off the ledge.

Any newly elected president comes clothed with the presumption of gravitas in dealing with all policy matters. It should now be clear, even to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate majority leader, that the presumption has evaporated. I am old enough to remember when Hugh Scott, the respected Republican senator from Pennsylvania, then the minority leader, was one of the three Republican congressional leaders who, on Aug. 7, 1974, went down from Capitol Hill to meet President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office of the White House to tell him that he had lost support of the party in Congress. Who in Congress dares now to step forward, even at the risk of his or her political career, to do that with respect to the sitting president?

Both Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King are now squarely presented with the opportunity for a Margaret Chase Smith “Declaration of Conscience” moment, and one hopes that one or the other will seize upon it.

Robert G. Fuller Jr.

Potomac, Maryland

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